There is little to no time to dwell on heartbreak during post-pandemic Premier League football, and that is a good thing. It means Chelsea were quick in clearing their conscience, correct their errors and take on Watford at the Bridge, beating them 3-0 to take us back to top four after a couple of hours with Manchester United in our place.
With the intent to play our home advantage by taking the initiative and hopefully getting a victory to send Manchester United back to fifth place in the Premier League, Chelsea were the ones dominating possession and chances for the most part in the first half. Only a couple of the latter were truly good, with Ben Foster frustrating our attackers as he is ought to do at least twice a season.
The water break brought a welcome and immediate change of pace for the Blues. Two minutes after getting more instructions from manager Frank Lampard, Mount, Barkley and Giroud combined to open the scoring at the Bridge.
Desperation hit Watford hard — almost as hard as Étienee Capoue’s tackle (?) in the penalty box on Pulisic that gave Willian his ninth league goal of the season. The Brazilian was cold as ice in taking the spot kick, easily taking Ben Foster out of frame for the goalscoring picture.
In the second half Chelsea continued to dominate, although they were not able to create as many good chances as they did in the first half. But there was still time for a third goal, the first PL score for Ross Barkley this season to wrap up a great 90-minute performance from the Blues.
- Major changes in the starting lineup today, with César Azpilicueta moving to left-back in place of Marcos Alonso, Reece James taking over the right-back slot, and Kurt Zouma over Antonio Rüdiger. Mason Mount returns to midfield given Mateo Kovacic’s absence due to injury (get well soon, hot knife!), while Olivier Giroud gets to start over Tammy Abraham.
- Subs are Abraham for Giroud, Ruben Loftus-Cheek for Willian, Callum Hudson-Odoi for Mount and Billy Gilmour for N’Golo Kanté (who got off the pitch with an apparent injury).
- Pulisic is a wonderful creature and we should protect him at all costs — including early substitutions.
- May Willian see the light (and the advantages of staying at Chelsea for two more seasons).
- Next up: Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park for the Premier League.